I thought Romney was a shoe in. He had more money, connections, endorsements and on top of everything he “looked Presidential” which means nothing to anybody except the dopes who vote in the Republican primary and the dopes who report on the primaries. To them it far more important to look Presidential than to be a good potential President (see Bush, George W.)
I think two things happened on his way to the coronation. On the one hand evangelical Christians turned out to be much more stubborn than he anticipated. That is why he is giving his “Mormonism is not a cult” speech. There are just a lot of religious bigots in the GOP (shocker!) and they hate Romney’s flavor of Christianity.
He migh have been able to overcome that, but the other thing that happened is that he failed to match up well against Senator Clinton. Beating Senator Clinton is EVERYTHING to the GOP. They hate Clinton so God Damn much it would make Hitler blush. The very notion that Senator Clinton could become the President fills the GOP with such morbid dread that it borders on pathological. [BTW – all this Clinton hatred is funny to me because she is the most “republican” candidate in the Democratic field.]
Anyway, the GOP took one look at Romney and said, “Clinton would destroy this guy.” And they are right.
All the flipp floppery in Romney’s recent past would make easy work for the Clintons. He would make Clinton look honest by comparison.
Bottom Line: Romney is done.